Schools in Milnthorpe, Workington and Maryport have come out as winners in the Sustrans Big Pedal competition, in which thousands of children cycle, scoot and walk their school journeys.
The UK-wide event organised by the national cycling and walking charity ran from 25 March to 5 April, with over half a million participants across the country making 3.8 million journeys to school by foot, bicycle or scooter.
In Cumbria 46 schools participated in Sustrans’ Big Pedal. Beetham Church of England Primary School reaching first place in Cumbria, and 10th nationally, for small primary schools, with 96% of children travelling actively. Victoria Junior School in Workington got top marks in the region with 78% for large primary schools and Maryport’s Netherhall School achieved first place for secondary schools, with 62% of school children commuting by foot, bicycle or scooter to school.
Rosslyn Colderley, Director of Sustrans in the North said: “Well done to all our schools in Cumbria! This year’s Big Pedal saw the highest number of pupils and parents take part since we first launched the competition back in 2010. This is a fantastic achievement, which tells us that children want to cycle, scoot and walk to school.
“It also demonstrates there’s a growing public awareness of the effects of motor emissions and the role more walking and cycling can play in reducing them. But to make it easier for parents and pupils to continue travel by bike and foot, the roads outside schools need to feel safe. One of the best ways to do this is by making streets outside the school gates car free.”
A YouGov survey carried out for Sustrans to launch the start of the Big Pedal found that two thirds (63%) of teachers would support a ban on motor vehicles outside the school gates during school drop off and pick up times and more than half (59%) want the Government to take urgent action to improve air quality near schools.
Organised by Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik Energy, the Big Pedal, is the largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting competition of its kind in the UK.
For all Big Pedal results look up https://bigpedal.org.uk/